To be honest, I count my blessings each day. For the most part, my kids are well behaved, polite, and seem to have their heads screwed on straight. Last night, I had my doubts as my cell phone woke me from a sound sleep. The good news is that there was not an accident; but the bad news was that there was a police officer on the other end of the line.
It seems that my daughter (almost 18) was at a party that got a little out of hand in terms of noise and the neighbors called the police. And it snowballed from there. There were several dozen underage teens there drinking. To make it worse, the parents were there as well and apparently either knew about it or actually facilitated it.
The officer explained that the parents were being arrested for supplying alcohol to minors and that no one was allowed to drive from the party. For those under 18, the police were required to contact parents.
A very frantic conversation with my daughter ensued and I explained that either her mom or I would be there to get her. She was at her mom’s this weekend, so I was not aware of the party; but I think my daughter thought I might go easier on her–hence the call to me. I spoke with the officer who explained that none of the teens were being charged and that they were being released to their parents.
I called my ex-wife and woke her up to tell her the news. We agreed since our daughter was at her house for the weekend, she ought to return to her house that night. When she got there, the parents did not say anything other than “which kid is yours?” I suspect that they have much more to worry about with the criminal charges and potentially some lawsuits if it is proven that they did serve alcohol.
So, now we need to co-parent and determine the appropriate punishment for an almost adult for underage drinking. She got lucky. I am not sure she understands how badly this could have turned out, but I hope to impress it upon her in the coming weeks. We had a long talk and explained my disappointment and how we always need to be aware of the ramifications of our actions.
I am not naive enough to think that they do not drink or experiment. I think that most of us have at one point or another. So in one sense I feel like it is a bit of a double standard; but on the other hand, I have said my goal with raising children is to keep them safe, responsible, honest, and caring until I can hand them off to the world to do great things. And if I have to be the bad guy to achieve that goal, it is a step I need to take and I am willing to take the lumps, the “I hate you dad’s, the “you’ve ruined my life!”s, and the cold shoulder. At least she is not in teen rehab!
Any sage advice for me?